Is a Kick-Ass Blog Worth the Trouble?
Portent Team Dec 11 2012
You’re reading this post for one of two reasons:
1) You’re thinking about starting a blog and wondering if it’s worth the time and energy, or
2) You’ve already invested time and energy in blogging and are not seeing the return you imagined
Let’s start at the beginning.
Should I blog?
Sometimes when you’re having trouble answering a question, it’s because you’re asking the wrong thing. Try answering the following instead.
Do you want:
- To empower your team?
- To stay abreast of the latest information in your industry?
- Your customers to trust you?
- Your customers to be as informed as possible about your products?
- To communicate directly with your customers?
These questions are adapted from Social Media Examiner’s “5 Reasons Your Business should be Blogging.” If you answered “no” more than one question above, stop reading now. You should not be blogging.
Instead, go back to your desk to start planning for your retirement. Today’s business world is about transparency and relationship building—and that’s what blogging is all about.
Value of blogging
Still reading? Yes, a kick-ass blog IS worth the trouble. And for more than the 5 reasons indicated above.
As a business person, you’re prudent about how you invest your resources. Whether you’ve been blogging for a while or you’re selling the idea of starting a blog to the powers that be, you need to understand the investment a blog requires and what kind of return you can expect to generate. Here are some FAQs:
What makes a successful blog?
You can’t know if something is worth doing until you define what “worth it” means to you. Do you want daily traffic? Do you want conversions? Prioritize your metrics and be realistic. Will your blog directly increase conversion rates by 100%? Probably not, but a kick-ass blog will engage your customers and get them to spend more time on your site, which should translate to conversions.
How often should I blog?
ProBlogger recommends that you blog 2-3 times per week. You can blog more and you can blog less, so you’ll want to find the routine that works for you. As long as you are consistent and updating your blog at least once a month, the quality over quantity adage applies. That said, each blog post offers new opportunities for awesomeness, so don’t sell yourself short by publishing too infrequently.
What should I blog about?
When you created your business, you thought about the need your product was designed to fill, right? Plug back into that mindset and start thinking about questions your customers might have but are too scared to ask. If you are stuck for content ideas, consider the following:
- Flesh out your FAQs
- Highlight prized customers
- Tell the story of a need you saw and the product you developed to fill it
- Feature star employees
- Share information about yourself and why you love what you do
- Analyze trends in your industry
Be real and vulnerable (try telling stories of your mistakes and how you overcame them) with your readers and they will engage with you and share your content. Keep your content somewhat related to your business, but experiment with your open rate, click-through rate, and time on page to see how far inside that box your readers want you to stay. Remember to always focus on quality writing and avoid these blogging mistakes.
How does blogging help my SEO?
Your blog helps customers find you. It’s a great place to write about your keywords (that means your posts need text as well as images). If you write interesting content, you will garner links. Social sharing buttons make it easy for people to spread the word about your kick-ass content. Some more technical tips: link internally to other posts, link externally to other authorities on the topic, and make sure your blog is not on a subdomain—that risks splitting your authority.
Blog away, dear readers, and tell us about your successes and failures in the comments.